Mangaluru, April 12,2017: The 10-day-long deep sea fishing did not yield much fish to Satish, a trawler boat operator, whose boat landed at the Old Port here on Tuesday morning. “It is a loss of around Rs. 50,000,” he said, hoping for better yield when returning to sea on Wednesday.
“It is a risky profession. If 20 boats leave for fishing on a given day, only one gets a good catch, while the others suffer. I hope our boat is the one to get the ‘bounty’ on Wednesday,” he said.
Mr. Satish is among the trawler boat operators here undertaking deep sea fishing who have been hit financially following a decline in fish catch and increasing rates of diesel.
“Nearly 95 % of the 1,040 trawl boats are not operating and they are docked in the harbour,” said Chandra R. Suvarna, a trawler boat operator. This has been the norm throughout the fishing season which started in November 2016. “Usually, the lean patch lasts a month, but this time it has been like that throughout the season,” he added.
Apart from the decrease in fish catch, the fishermen said, they have been affected by steep increase in the rate of diesel. For a 10-day-long visit, a trawler boat needs a minimum of 5,000 litres of diesel for which fishermen have to pay Rs. 2.6 lakh (at the rate of Rs. 52 per litre). “The subsidy amount is not being credited to our account. This has increased our burden,” said Mr. Satish.
Deputy Director of Fisheries, Dakshina Kannada, Mahesh Kumar, said that fishermen have also been affected as they are not getting good rate for the catch. The catch in the deep sea does not have prawns and cuttle fish that gets them good value in the market. Decrease in the catch was also because there are nearly 100 trawler boats more than there were last year. Hence, all of them cannot get a good catch, he said.
Mr. Kumar said that the State government has transferred to fishermen’s account subsidy amounting to Rs. 119 crore. The government has earmarked Rs. 157 crore in the budget this year. He said that subsidy amount has to be paid from January to March.
Courtesy: The Hindu